â€œThen and Nowâ€ was the theme for Heartland 4th graders Friday, April 29th when they were clearly having fun and learning while having school at the District #73E schoolhouse at the Henderson Mennonite Heritage Park.Â Suzanne Ratzlaffâ€™s 4th grade class brought their lunches and were ready for an â€œawesomeâ€ day touring the park, completing their spelling tests and looking forward to re-enacting what it was like attending a real country school.
â€œThis is so fun because we get to be here the whole day,â€ said 4th grader Kristina Rowe. The 22 fourth graders began the day settling into their individual antique school desks and signing in as visitors with Heritage park volunteer Adeline Huebert.Â This yearâ€™s class is working on completing their own book of country school stories and they had a special mission on their mind while at the country school.
They were using several old pictures taken from the Heritage parkâ€™s collection of various country school districts from the area.Â Some of the pictures were very unique so they were trying to re-enact the same poses with their class.Â That is why the theme â€œThen and Nowâ€ was decided on by the class.Â They would dress as â€œnowâ€ but stage the same poses as â€œthenâ€ in the old country school pictures. These pictures will be included in their upcoming book and one will be chosen for their cover.
The class was led on a short tour of the park viewing the Immigrant House, General Store and the Farmhouse.Â â€œIâ€™m glad we could come back to the park after using the Epp Barn for our personal research projects,â€ said Delaney Siebert.Â â€œItâ€™s gonna be awesome!â€ added Shauna Spencer.Â The fourth gradersâ€™ enthusiasm was hard to contain as they tried out for size the antique bathtub, posed next to mannequins and discovered many interesting artifacts, books and antiques at the park.
â€œI was really looking forward to doing the re-enactments at the country school.Â Itâ€™s been so fun,â€ said Peyton Ott.Â Heartlandâ€™s fourth grade class will return to the Heritage Park on Wednesday, May 18 from 1-2 P.M. when they will be presenting a short program about their book titled â€œU.S.S. (Ultimate School Stories): Then and Now.â€Â They also will be selling copies of their book for $10 after the program.Â Additional copies may be purchased anytime at the General Store.
From Contributor Shannon Siebert
Photos Courtesy Shannon Siebert
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